The BBC item (...) says that Austria’s presidency “is a largely ceremonial post”. An earlier version followed up that statement by noting that the president can dismiss the government, and that Hofer has promised to do so if elected. One might question whether a president who can, on his or her political initiative, dismiss a government that has the confidence of parties controlling a majority of parliamentary seats, is “ceremonial” (...)E um comentário ao post:
The Austrian presidency actually has quite significant constitutional powers. In fact, it would be a “president parliamentary” system, according to formal powers. This is the hybrid in which the popularly elected president does indeed have powers to dismiss a government. Presidents have not actually deployed these powers in the past, owing to the “establishment” consensus that the system should operate in a fundamentally parliamentary manner. However, a president from outside this consensus could certainly be expected to attempt to deploy the powers.
And, oh by the way, among the powers of initiative that the Austrian presidency has is the right to dissolve parliament. So that election “scheduled for 2018” may be coming a bit sooner.
Austria has operated de facto as a parliamentary system since 1945. The informal deal that brought this about and kept it that way was, it seems to me, only made possible through enforcement by the two main parties (and their presidential candidates). With someone not from one of those parties in the president’s office, that deal falls apart. Even if van der Bellen is elected, I think the next few years will come to remind everyone that Austria is actually semi-presidential.